When Azerbaijan served as chair of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, it scoffed at the spirit and purpose of the organization and moved vigorously to squash all forms of free speech at home. Now that Baku no longer holds the top spot, civil society activists are worrying about what Azerbaijani authorities will do next.
The government crisis that erupted in Georgia earlier in November was originally cast as a struggle over the country’s geopolitical orientation. But as time passes, it seems the real fulcrum of contention is connected with checks and balances on authority, and the potential influence of unaccountable public figures.
BRUSSELS -- The new EU Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn says it is "crystal clear" there won't be a reduction in European Union sanctions on Russia, and that the recent events in eastern Ukraine instead can prompt Brussels to pile further pressure on Moscow.
A money-laundering scandal is casting Moldova’s judiciary in an unfavorable light and is raising concerns about the government’s commitment to reforms needed to keep European Union integration on track.
For weeks, idle Turkish tanks have been watching from the hills in southeastern Turkey as Islamic State forces pound the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane, just a few hundred meters across the border. That lassitude has prompted many Westerners to voice doubts about Turkey’s commitment to eradicating the Islamic State.
With apple-picking season underway in Moldova, Vasile Nitrean, a farmer in Soroca, a northeastern town near the Ukrainian border, says he has “big problems.” For the past 15 years, he has sold his crop to Russian buyers. Now, because of a Russian ban, he, along with many other farmers, needs to find a new market, and fast.
Almost 80 years ago, ideological true believers from all over the world flocked to Spain to fight in a civil war, serving in the famed International Brigades on the Republican side. These days, echoes of Spain can be found in Ukraine, where foreign ideologues now can be found battling separatists backed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
The deepening Ukrainian crisis is placing Turkey in a difficult diplomatic position. At stake for officials in Ankara are Turkey's commitments to its Western allies and its cultural kin, Crimean Tatars, against its economic and political relationship with Moscow.